French Fridays with Dorie: Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

Vegetable Barley Soup with a taste of little India on eatlivetravelwrite.comSometimes it’s the simplest French Fridays with Dorie recipes that cause me the most grief. Like this week when I was pleased to see what I considered an “easy” soup (Vegetable Barley Soup with a Taste of Little India, p 89) on the agenda for when we returned home from our quick trip to Europe – first of all, it was still most definitely soup weather last week and secondly, well, who doesn’t like an easy dish when they are fogged up with jetlag and vertigo?

Well apparently I needed something even easier than this because on my first attempt, I managed to mess this up!  I wanted a creamier soup than the recipe called for (it’s basically a broth with onions, carrots, garlic, and parsnip, mildly spiced with garma masala, ginger and tumeric.) You add some pearl barley in at the end and also some red pepper flakes to taste. I puréed the vegetables before I added the pearl barley and was hoping for a thick, comforting soup. Hmmm, “to taste” with the red pepper flakes ended up being WAY too hot (and that’s totally my fault even though I am pretty sure I didn’t add that much…) – even Mr Neil commented that it was “too hot” 🙁

I did like the texture of the puréed soup with the pearl barley so I actually heated another litre of stock and mixed the “too hot” soup through it which worked to cool it down and boost the flavour. I served this with a dollop of Greek yoghurt to cut the remaining heat and crushed some baguette crisps over the top, finishing it off with a sprinkle of piment d’espelette (which is not that hot). This worked really well and ended up being my lunch over many days – it is a wonderful warmer for those of us who eat their lunch supervising outside playtime, like me!

I’ll be remembering this next time I look in the fridge and think there’s no food in the house because really, it’s a lovely tasty bowl of soup using ingredients that I most always have on hand. I’ll just be sure to measure my red pepper flakes though 😉

You can find the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India here – along with an article featuring many of my fellow “Doristas” 🙂

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23 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

  1. Cakelaw March 28, 2014 at 05:46 #

    Your soup looks great Mardi – glad you were able to rescue the too hot batch.

  2. Cher March 28, 2014 at 06:12 #

    Glad you were able to rescue it!

    Enjoy your time with Betsy. Jealous 🙂

  3. Liz March 28, 2014 at 06:38 #

    Love how you created your own version!!! It’s gorgeous!

  4. Guyla March 28, 2014 at 10:11 #

    Your soup looks delicious Mardi! Nice save. Enjoy your time with Betsy. She is a delightful person as I can tell you are! We had a west coast Dorista meet up now we need an east coast meet up.(getting people to come to the central U.S. might be tough) Enjoy!

  5. Trevor Sis. Boom. March 28, 2014 at 10:59 #

    I loved it and my soup balanced perfectly and while I enjoyed the colorful results I think your dollop of yogurt would have been perfect. I’m surprised its not in the recipe itself! I know I won’t forget it the next time I make this soup and there will be a next time.

  6. betsy March 28, 2014 at 10:59 #

    Pureeing the soup base sounds like a delicious variation. It’s amazing how many different ways one can make soup.

    Looking forward to meeting you later today!

  7. Nana March 28, 2014 at 11:00 #

    Your soup looks good with the pureed veggies. I agree with Guyla, an east coast meet
    would be fantastic. Enjoy your trip to Boston.

  8. A Couple in the Kitchen March 28, 2014 at 12:25 #

    Your version sounds great, too. Fun to see all these different twists on the same recipe!

  9. Eileen March 28, 2014 at 12:43 #

    Ooh, i really like the idea of pureeing the vegetables. I should start making a list of all the tweaks i want to make to this based upon other Doristas’ ventures. I look forward to catching up on this one.

  10. Coco in the Kitchen March 28, 2014 at 15:05 #

    Yogurt is a must. It gives you courage to take on the next spicy bite!
    What a lovely picture.
    Happy Friday!

  11. Mr. Neil March 28, 2014 at 15:40 #

    A rare day indeed when Mr. Neil proclaims something as “too hot”!

    I never had the reworked version, so cannot comment on the save…maybe next time.

  12. Mary Hirsch March 29, 2014 at 00:13 #

    Your soup is a heck of a lot prettier than my soup was. Is that because of the red pepper flakes. Holy cow, you really did add some “heat”, didn’t you. Right now while I am sitting here writing comments, you and Betsy are having dinner. I know you have lots to talk about — that’s what happens when Doristas get together. I’m so glad you two made the effort to arrange this. We all benefit. Tell us everything. Can’t wait to hear.

  13. Diane Balch March 29, 2014 at 08:50 #

    I’ve never pureed a soup with grain in it good to know it works. Impressive how you rescued the too hot soup.

    • Mardi Michels March 29, 2014 at 12:36 #

      I didn’t puree it with the barley in it already. I cooked the veggies, pureed them and then added the barley to cook after.

  14. EmilyC March 29, 2014 at 09:02 #

    First time ever barley as a savory instead of something sweet for me! Puree and yogurt in your adapted version look FAB!

  15. Alice March 29, 2014 at 12:24 #

    LOL, funny that it wound up too hot for you guys… that red pepper goes a long ways in a soup like this, and with a ginger base, it can amp up the heat and spice quite a bit! 🙂 A little white vinegar (start with 1/2 tsp worth) drizzled in and mixed in can bring down the heat significantly without affecting the other flavors – I do this in restaurants where they put in more heat/spice than I can handle, or if it gets overwhelming, I ask for a teaspoon of white vinegar and drizzle it over my food. I do this for my girls dishes too if we want something more spicy but know that they wont enjoy the level of spicy 🙂

    Although, making more broth for the soup isn’t terrible… we added lots more spice and broth over the next couple days and enjoyed this soup for quite awhile!

    • Mardi Michels March 29, 2014 at 12:37 #

      I normally UNDER season when it comes to heat so this is unusual indeed. In any case, my soup needed thinning so the stock did the trick and added more flavour.

  16. Kathy March 29, 2014 at 15:57 #

    Your version looks great Mardi! I love the beautiful color…glad you were able to tame the heat! How nice that you and Betsy were able to meet each other.

  17. Angel Reyes March 30, 2014 at 09:32 #

    I am so curious now! I’ve never used barely for anything beyond baking bread.

  18. Teresa March 31, 2014 at 00:10 #

    I like the look of the pureed version and I’m glad you were able to tone the heat down enough to enjoy it. Yogurt with this sounds lovely.

    You’ve got it in my brother’s head that the Doristas are going to show up on his doorstep one day! And he showed my blog post to one of his staff (an assistant floor manager, I think) and now she wants to join us. If so, we’ll be up to three Canadians in the group.

  19. TheKitchenLioness March 31, 2014 at 03:49 #

    Mardi, hope you had a wonderful trip (albeit) short to EU – the weather around these parts is a tad more springlike than in Canada, so this soup was probably really wonderful for cooler weather. I I like the puréed version with the added joghurt – it sounds like quite a great twist to the recipe.
    Have a lovely week!

  20. Ann Mah March 31, 2014 at 11:24 #

    Yum! I made beef barley soup earlier this year and have been looking for a way to use up the rest of the barley in a different way — this is it! Thanks for the idea — love your adjustments, too. xo

  21. Renee April 1, 2014 at 22:31 #

    Oh that’s too bad about your first batch. But it sounds like you made a great save and the addition of yogurt would be perfectly delicious with this!

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